What You Need To Know: Mike Montgomery, stepping up when his team needed him for an emergency start with only two days rest, gave the Cubs all he could in three innings of work before the pen only gave up two runs over the final six innings as the Cubs’ rally just fell short in a 4-3 lo…
Are you sure? That doesn’t sound right…
Hang on, lemme check…
OH DEAR LORD.
Next Level: You really should check out HBO’s “Tour de Pharmacy.” I found myself laughing out loud about every seven seconds, which I started somewhere in the bottom of the 1st inning. It’s patently ridiculous but somehow pulls it off and is even better than their previous effort “7 Days in Hell”…
What? Oh, you want me to talk about the game? Are you sure? Because I don’t have to, and we might all be happier if I don’t.
I guess this is where, at least coming into this game, I was supposed to write something about how Lester had in a lot of ways been just as good this year than last year. He’s striking more people out, he’s getting more grounders, and even giving up a lower line-drive rate. What he’s not getting is stranding a ridiculous percentage of runners on-base as he did last year, and he’s not getting a deflated whoopie cushion of a BABIP because the Cubs defense can go funhouse at times.
So today was an excellent example.
What you won’t remember, because you might be retelling this day on a therapist’s couch sometime in the future, is that Lester was one error from getting out of the first inning with no runs, not even 15 pitches, and we could have had a more enjoyable Sunday. He induced a harmless hopper from David Freese to Bryant, who got a tricky in-between hop that proceeded to projectile vomit all over him instead of allowing him to nab it, step on third and throw Freese out. These are the plays the Cubs aren’t making this season.
And when they don’t, several angry bulls come charging through the slightly ajar door. I mean, bulls could probably break down a closed and locked door too, but let’s pretend that it’s like a metal, fortified door with cool locks with glass packs, and such and it has to be open for bulls to charge through.
Lester got one more out, along with 10 more runs. That’s not a good ratio right there. Now, it’s not the Cubs defense’s fault that after that failed double-play Lester simple turned into a puddle. That seems to be happening with him, Arrieta, and especially Lackey all season. Maybe it would have happened last year too, except the Cubs defense never let us find out. I don’t know.
Three walks in an inning isn’t acceptable from anyone, and that’s what Lester managed that certainly was the tinder on which he burned.
The Cubs have given up 80 first inning runs. Sequence however you want, but there simply has to be a mental issue when the Cubs are trailing so early so often. It would have to have the hitters squeezing bats a little tighter right from the off. Ok, maybe not today because when you’re down 10 before you’ve even gotten to the dugout you’re basically really focusing on your route to the airport for the flight to wherever you’re going for the break. But overall it has to be a problem.
There isn’t much to add. Caratini got his first MLB hit and RBI. Almora and Contreras each had multi-hit games. Bully.
Top WPA Play: When it ended.
All right fine. It was a Kris Bryant walk in the 3rd. FEEL THE PULSE! (+.010)
Bottom WPA Play: Existence itself.
All right fine. It was Jose Osuna’s double in the top of the first that made it 3-0. (-.136)
Lead photo courtesy Dennis Wierzbicki—USA Today Sports